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Introducing DRIFT: The Drift Governance Token

April 16, 2024

The Drift DAO Foundation is proud to unveil DAO and DRIFT governance token, marking a significant advancement in growing a fully community-driven protocol. The DRIFT governance token is set to play a pivotal role in empowering Drift users and contributors to impact decision-making processes and guide the future direction of the Drift ecosystem.

Why Now?

Drift launched in 2021 as one of the first DeFi projects on Solana. Since then, Drift has grown to be the largest open-source perpetual futures DEX on Solana. Starting with $1 million in Total Value Locked (TVL) and less than 100 daily active traders at the time of Drift's launch, Drift now has over $350 million in TVL, more than 175,000 traders, and a cumulative volume of $20+ billion.

Building on a solid foundation established over the past three years, Drift is poised for the next growth phase. Drift’s goal is to grow DeFi beyond CeFi with a protocol that not only achieves unparalleled usage but also maximizes user distribution. The DRIFT governance token enables the Drift community to shape the protocol's future with a direct influence on the long term vision.

Introducing DRIFT

DRIFT is designed to empower loyal users of Drift Protocol.

The primary aim of the DRIFT governance token is to empower Drift users by granting them tangible ownership of the protocol and a significant voice in guiding its development trajectory through the Drift DAO. The governance token embodies a collective and inclusive approach to decision-making within Drift.

Decentralization matters. By distributing power and decision-making across the ecosystem instead of centralizing it, Drift ensures sustainable, healthy growth alongside its most active participants.

Drift DAO Foundation

The Foundation will facilitate the coordination of decisions and initiatives from the token holders and the DAO.

The Foundation’s DAO administrator will be Webslinger, an advisory firm for leading crypto projects and the Foundation will be led by independent Director (Matt Shaw). Transparency reports will be provided by the Foundation.

Drift DAO

The launch of the DRIFT governance token empowers holders to actively participate and vote on key decisions, shaping the future of the Drift ecosystem to ensure it meets the evolving needs of traders within the Solana ecosystem.

The Drift DAO will be a first-of-its-kind, multi-branch DAO, consisting of a Realms DAO for general protocol development, a Security Council for governing protocol upgrades, and a Futarchy DAO for funding technical grants.

Realms DAO

Responsible for the overall development of the protocol, this branch also elects a Security Council comprised of the most knowledgeable contributors and developers within the Drift ecosystem. The aim is to maintain high-speed market operations without compromising on decentralization. Examples of decisions and initiatives under their purview include, but are not limited to

  • Elects the members of the Security Council via a DAO vote
  • Future Tokenomics Updates, including staking proposals and mechanics
  • Rewards for contributing to the ongoing development of Drift Protocol

Security Council

Responsible for monitoring and updating risk parameters, including fees, maintenance margin ratios, and program upgrades. The Security Council is tasked with introducing new markets and approving changes to fees or leverage. Examples of decisions and initiatives under their purview include, but are not limited to

  • Determining the fee parameters for Drift Protocol
  • Update risk parameters (max deposit and open interest caps, asset/liability weights, leverage)
  • Approve software and program upgrades
  • Adding and removing spot and perpetual futures markets

Futarchy DAO

Responsible for funding ecosystem projects and grants aimed at launching products adjacent to or directly related to Drift. The Futarchy DAO operates under an innovative futarchy model, implemented by MetaDAOProject, where decisions are made based on the time-weighted average prices of a conditional market. Examples of proposals they may suggest include, but are not limited to

  • Funding new Drift ecosystem initiatives such as new programs, alternative frontends, trading bots, wallets, open-sourced SDKs, specialized RPC, and validator clients
  • Rewards for contributing to the ongoing development and improvement of Drift’s protocols and product

New aspects and improvements to on-chain governance may be proposed and established by the DAO.


There will be a total of 1 billion DRIFT governance tokens. These tokens will be distributed over 5 years, with a majority (over 50%) being allocated to the community.

DRIFT governance tokens will be distributed across the following categories:

Community - 53%

Ecosystem Development and Trading Rewards - 43%

The community is the lifeblood of Drift, encompassing a diverse range of stakeholders from stakers to algorithmic traders. This allocation is dedicated to the growth of active users on Drift, through trading rewards, future airdrops, and rewards for providing liquidity. Additionally, the Futarchy DAO will fund tools and resources for developers and initiate public awareness campaigns to broaden Drift's usage.

Launch Airdrop - 10%

10% of all DRIFT governance tokens have been reserved for the initial launch phase. These tokens will be distributed to existing Drift users in recognition of their historical contributions to the development and growth of Drift.

This encompasses long-standing traders, participants in various programs such as BAL or Insurance Fund on the platform, contributions to the protocol through deposits, and active engagement as liquidity providers in trading programs.

Protocol Development - 25%

This allocation is for both current and future contributors dedicated to developing Drift Protocol tooling, products, and infrastructure, thereby expanding the Protocol’s array of decentralized DeFi applications. This allocation includes treasury funds earmarked for protocol development.

To ensure alignment of interests, the core contributor team’s tokens are subject to an 18-month lock-up period, followed by an 18-month vesting period.

Strategic Participants - 22%

Throughout the years of development, Drift has been fortunate to receive the support and guidance of key partners in the space. This allocation represents their contributions which have significantly enhanced the network by advising on and supporting critical infrastructure developments.

Token Emission Schedule

DRIFT emissions will follow a 5-year schedule, at which point all DRIFT will be fully circulating with majority allocated to ecosystem growth.

What’s Next?

The launch airdrop is next. Here’s what you can expect leading up to the airdrop:

  • A blog post outlining the airdrop eligibility criteria will be released shortly.
  • There will be a claim period during which eligible users can claim their DRIFT governance tokens.

Launching DAO and DRIFT represents the first step towards the decentralization of Drift. We’re excited to see how the Drift DAO contributes to Drift’s long term growth!


The Foundation will keep you informed once the eligibility checker and airdrop claim tools are live. Note that Drift contributors will never approach you, ask you for personal information or ask you for money.

We strongly advise our community members to exercise caution and be wary of potential scams or illegitimate pages. The Foundation and community moderators will never message you first or ask you for personal information or private keys.